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CRIME

French woman charged over Italian pedestrian’s death in Paris e-scooter accident

Paris prosecutors have charged a young woman with aggravated manslaughter over the death of an Italian on the Seine river embankment in Paris earlier this month in a collision with an electronic scooter.

French woman charged over Italian pedestrian's death in Paris e-scooter accident
(Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

The woman, who is a nurse, is suspected of driving the scooter that hit the 32-year-old Italian woman, said a source close to the investigation on Sunday, asking not to be named.

The incident revived debate over the safety risks in allowing the hugely popular devices onto the busy streets of Paris.

The woman was charged late Saturday with manslaughter, aggravated by fleeing the scene and deliberately showing negligence in the June 14th accident.

She was released but placed under judicial control ahead of trial.

The suspect had been detained on Thursday along with another young woman after a 10-day search for the driver of the scooter. The other woman was released on Friday.

The accident happened when the Italian, Miriam S. born in Rome but living in Paris, was in the pedestrianised area to socialise with colleagues. She was talking to a friend when she was hit by the scooter with two people on board
who both then fled.

READ ALSO: France bans bikes and scooters weaving between lanes of traffic after ‘disappointing’ safety trial

She died of her wounds two days later on June 16th.

The scooters have drawn the ire of many residents and some city councillors who say they are cluttering up already crowded sidewalks and squares. In 2019, a man in his 80s was struck and killed in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, and last year a 75-year-old woman was killed in Paris after being hit by an e-scooter.

Officially they are forbidden on sidewalks and only one rider is allowed, but enforcement is scant and many riders, including tourists, ignore or are unaware of the rules.

Paris also has a e-scooter speed limit of 20 km/h (12 mph) and prohibits parking them on sidewalks or public squares, where they are often scattered either upright or knocked over.

An April survey of 237 users by Axa Prevention, part of the Axa insurance group, found that 79 percent admitted to riding on sidewalks, while 66 percent said they would roll through yellow traffic lights instead of stopping.

In 2020, 78 pedestrians were injured in France after being struck by e-scooters or so-called “personal transporters” – such as gyropods and electric skateboards – according to the Securite Routiere road safety agency.

Member comments

  1. Would be great to see the comparison of deaths from cars or scooters when mentioning statistics about the e-scooters. Seems a bit slanted at being anti e-scooter.

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ROME

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.

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